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Feature article

The Scent of a Crime

dog nose

Dogs can be used to detect a range of scents, including drugs, explosives, accelerants, currency, and living and deceased people. Credit: yellowsarah/iStock

By LaTara Rust & Rebecca Buis

Cadaver-detection dogs can’t be trained using human remains. How accurately can the complex scents emitted by decomposing bodies be mimicked when these dogs are trained?

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Molecules that Mould the Mind

Credit: PhenomArtlover/iStockphoto

Credit: PhenomArtlover/iStockphoto

By Michael Notaras

Molecular psychiatrists are revealing how stress during critical periods in adolescence can influence mental illness later in life.

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The Doping Age

The Doping Age

By Stephen Moston & Terry Engelberg

A new study finds that doping in sport has spread to Australian athletes as young as 12 years of age.

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The First Breath

Gogonasus

Gogonasus, the 380-million-year-old fossil sarcopterygian fish from Gogo in Western Australia, had large spiracles on its head to enable it to breathe air. Illustration: Brian Choo

By John Long

The African reedfish Polypterus has revealed how breathing first evolved in terrestrial animals, and perhaps how the structures of the ear first formed.

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Jumping Genes and the Spectacular Evolution of Flowering Plants

Jumping Genes and the Spectacular Evolution of Flowering Plants

By Keith Oliver, Jen McComb & Wayne Greene

The emergence and rapid rise of flowering plants is one of the most extraordinary and yet still not fully explained phenomena in evolutionary history. Could what Darwin himself called an “abominable mystery” be caused by jumping genes?

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From the Mountain to the MCG

Harry O’Brien gasps with Nathan Buckley

Harry O’Brien gasps for breath in front of coach Nathan Buckley at the University of Utah, December 2012.

By Blake McLean

As the AFL season builds towards the Grand Final this month, Blake McLean outlines the performance enhancements Collingwood players gained by training at altitude last summer.

Blake McLean travelled with the Collingwood Football Club for its altitude training camp in Utah as part of his PhD with the Australian Catholic University’s School of Exercise Science.

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The Future of Pest Control Lies Within (the Pest)

Credit: Vera Kuttelvaserova/Adobe

Credit: Vera Kuttelvaserova/Adobe

By Alexandre Fournier-Level

Gene drives could improve global food security by turning pest biology against itself.

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Autism Genes Exist in Us All

Credit: ktsdesign/adobe

Credit: ktsdesign/adobe

By Marie-Jo Brion

A new study has found that genetic factors underlying autism are present in everyone and are influencing our behaviour.

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Brave New Embryology

Credit: Mopic/Adobe

After 30 years of IVF, only around 25% of the embryos created have the capacity to develop to term. Credit: Mopic/Adobe

By Chris O’Neill

New technologies are being developed to improve fertility, but the effects on the embryo are uncertain.

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Kissing Cousins: Why Haven’t Arranged Marriage Laws Reduced Human Genetic Diversity?

Credit: Elka Lesmono

Credit: Elka Lesmono

By Murray Cox

Many traditional communities, including our ancestors, have long enforced marriage between first cousins. Why hasn’t this had a negative impact on genetic diversity?

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